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Gil

Tracon!2012 Approach Woes

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It's surprising to me how difficult doing approaches is in Tracon!2012 compared to departures. I just tried really today for the first time, and I just couldn't understand why it was so difficult to say the right things at the right time to land the aircraft.

It's occurred to me though that it's probably due to @Mark Hargrove's excellent tutorials on the subject. I must have listened to them a dozen times to get ready for my first try, and it seems so easy for him, I guess I thought something of his expertise would rub off. 😏 Of course I have no reason (other than human nature) to think that.

I am enjoying the challenge of Tracon!2012, but I have to admit, it beat me today.

The hardest part of the approach for me are the events right at the end when a plane is turned in toward the ILS path. It just doesn't seem like there is enough time to give the commands. One missed word throws the whole thing off, and there's no time left to recover.

I would appreciate any tips that people have to mitigate against that.

Gil

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Apart from just reducing the traffic load, do you slow them down? I know it's difficult to find the right timing on the ones coming in hot at 240 kts as slowest practical speed, when you have slowed down the other traffic to around 160 to 180 kts. A useful command that I - unfortunately - hardly make use of is the CROSS XXXXX AT AND MAINTAIN XXXXX command. And you can, of course, send planes into a holding pattern and stack them up at a waypoint. I've done this primarily when it gets so busy that I might lose control over my airspace.

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21 minutes ago, DeltaVII said:

Apart from just reducing the traffic load, do you slow them down? I know it's difficult to find the right timing on the ones coming in hot at 240 kts as slowest practical speed, when you have slowed down the other traffic to around 160 to 180 kts. A useful command that I - unfortunately - hardly make use of is the CROSS XXXXX AT AND MAINTAIN XXXXX command. And you can, of course, send planes into a holding pattern and stack them up at a waypoint. I've done this primarily when it gets so busy that I might lose control over my airspace.

Reducing speed is a good idea. I hadn't thought of that.

As for traffic so far I haven't been successful enough with a little bit of traffic to allow more than a small handful of approaches to be generated. It might help though for me to create a very light schedule similar to Mark's second approach tutorial. That might help me become more familiar with the terminology before dealing with more traffic.

Mark mentioned the CROSS AT AND MAINTAIN command in the third approach tutorial, so I have been using it. 

Thanks for your suggestions.

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I usually have my aircraft "cross LAHAB at and maintain 7000.  As soon as they reach Lahab I descend to 5000 and fly heading 270 At this point you can immediately clear them for the ILS.  Once established on the ILS, I issue a "contact tower  at the outer on nnn" so that I don't have to keep track of them any longer.

  This is for 25R. For 26L, the idea is the same just different waypoints. I find that this is the easy part.  The tough part is spacing the aircraft out so that they don't all reach the runway at the same time.

Tom

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39 minutes ago, FS1TR said:

I usually have my aircraft "cross LAHAB at and maintain 7000.  As soon as they reach Lahab I descend to 5000 and fly heading 270 At this point you can immediately clear them for the ILS.  Once established on the ILS, I issue a "contact tower  at the outer on nnn" so that I don't have to keep track of them any longer.

  This is for 25R. For 26L, the idea is the same just different waypoints. I find that this is the easy part.  The tough part is spacing the aircraft out so that they don't all reach the runway at the same time.

Tom

I assume this is for LAX. Shouldn't you be landing them on 25L and 26R?

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As mentioned Gil speed is a good tool for separation. It's best to be confident in your calls so you don't get too fixated on one area of your scope. Keep scanning the whole picture and try and think a few moves ahead; when Seagull 123 reaches ABC I'll turn him to 270 etc. Always use positive separation too so that if you do miss a call you still have your 1,000 ft separation ie if working LAX arrivals keep the two streams 1,000 ft apart in your calls until you get them established.

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Thanks to everyone with all the suggestions. I just handled about one hour at LAX at 1600 and managed to land all of the aircraft during that period with only one or two goofs. Slowing the planes at first to 200 kts helped me to build up confidence at the final sequence of commands.

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